A moment of love witnessed, experienced, or shared on public lands…
I thought long and hard about this topic, but I wasn’t getting anywhere at all. I have never witnessed a proposal or even much affection between two people on any public lands. But, then it clicked! I have witnessed one act that truly warms my heart, countless times… When someone picks up trash, regardless of who’s it is, and throws it in the proper receptacle. There is nothing more wonderful than people who LOVE public lands and this is one example of a simple way to show it.
Other great acts of love I’ve witnessed, firsthand, are people who stay on the designated path or trail on our public lands. In all honesty, I have wandered off in the past but have learned so much and do my best nowadays. A vital way to show love for the plants and soils is by leaving them undisturbed! I’d have to say the people who stay on the path outweigh the ones who disregard it altogether, and there is always room to grow and learn!
Have you ever witnessed a trail building outing or participated in one? Until you’ve watched people sweat it out by removing invasive species or done something similar yourself, you won’t know what love for public lands truly is. Have you called or sent a letter to your government representative? Yet another act of love for public lands that has inspired real change!
It’s heartbreaking to see people who supposedly love public lands deface them or break the rules designed to protect them. I see far more people follow the rules and love the land than those who don’t and to me that is love. Spreading the values of Leave No Trace as well as restating the rules to people who may be a little off course is true love.
The current administration has typically pushed forward legislation to minimize or physically degrade public lands but a recent bill to expand and protect was an act of love, if not with ulterior motives, but love nonetheless. The fact that the tone of this administration and 45 is generally negative in regards to public lands has a silver lining and that is people coming together to share their love for them on a grand scale. True love is putting differences aside to come together to preserve culture, flora, fauna, and other treasures that should and do belong to everyone.
Today, I raise my glass to those who love public lands and show it every single chance they get. Here’s to every time you picked up that trash or contacted your rep. Here’s to all the times you’ll/we’ll have to do this in the future. Here’s to the future of these glorious places. Here’s to working through the heartbreak of the shortcomings and pushing forward for the greater good. Here’s to you, public land lovers!